“Wow, you look very healthy,” my friend Helen You told me the other day when I brought a tour group to her restaurant, Dumpling Galaxy for lamb soup dumplings. “It’s like you lived two lives in one,” she said when I told her about my recent recovery from colorectal cancer. You’s words made me tear up a bit as did the premiere episode of Last Stop on The 7, which details her own story of living two lives in one. The video, which was produced by the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and Sixty First Productions, features absolutely mesmerizing shots of You’s flour coated hands rolling out wrappers and folding them to create pork and chive dumplings.
You’s first life was that of a daughter of a Chinese intellectual who was imprisoned in labor camps for 22 years for speaking out against the government. As a child her family was shunned so she couldn’t play outside with other children so she stayed at home with her mom and grandma and watched them cook. It was there that her passion for making dumplings was born. You’s second life is that of a corporate tax accountant turned restaurateur. Both lives have one thing in common, dumplings. “My favorite dumpling is pork with chive since I was a little child and that will never change probably,” she says wistfully.